In these unprecedented times, coronavirus hysteria can make it seem like it’s the end of the world. But it’s not. Just the opposite. What we’re witnessing is a transition. Many people will be overwhelmed by lockdown orders and will subconsciously ‘lockdown’ their own progress and momentum, because a situation on this scale can create depression and fear on multiple levels. It doesn’t have to though. There will be people that are keeping their wits about them and will flourish in this time, and will come out on the other side of this better, stronger, wiser, and poised for even more success.
The first thing to do, to make sure you’re one of the people that can capitalize on the current situation, is to stay calm. When the world is in a panic, being able to think clearly, critically, and objectively will automatically give you a huge advantage.
As this is an apparent health crisis, you’ll want to make sure you’re in good health. Staying healthy is important whether there is a crisis or not, but now is a great time to take inventory as to how you’re treating your body, mind, and spirit. Statistically speaking, the chances that you will get this virus are slightly better than getting the flu. And if you factor in the margin of error that comes with statistics, the chances that you will get it, or even notice if you did get it, start to become incredibly unlikely. As the great American writer, Mark Twain, once said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Try to pay more attention to staying physically healthy. Exercise and eat good food with plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like C, D, and zinc. Feed your mind with healthy stuff too. Get off of social media for a while everyday and go read a book. Reading books is meditative and helps you process language, stories, and information in a more comprehensive and natural way than looking at a screen, which will only make your songwriting better. Nourish your spirit by shutting off devices around you for a few minutes a day and spend some time in silence, simply being grateful for all of the things you have. Visualize the things that you want and how you’ll use those things for good in the world. Your thoughts control your reality. This is how the universe works, contrary to how we are taught that it is the other way around.
So once you’ve got control of these things you can start focusing on your music in a meaningful way, without the distractions of a chaotic world. Your music is a reflection of your essence. The passion and feeling you put into it, is the passion and feeling that people will get out of it.
So let’s start looking at practical steps that you can do during these coronavirus times. No matter stage your career is at there is always a way to move forward when you know what steps to take.
If you’re at a writing/recording stage of your music, then this is a great time to get a lot done. The one thing that has not shut down during this time is the Internet, and aside from going into a recording studio or live shows, this is where most of your progress will be made, even in normal times. My company, AHM Media, has made adjustments to our artist development and music production schedules and costs, so that we can continue to help artists move forward at this time as well, and it’s likely that many other companies have done the same. Because so much of the process can be accomplished through Zoom and video conferencing, being locked down doesn’t mean you have to shut down. Either way you’ll want to set a schedule of writing at least 2 or 3 song ideas each week. Even if they’re partial ideas, you’ll want to keep the creative muscles flexing. Use it or lose it, as the saying goes.
Recording at home has never been better quality than it is today. There is a lot of information online about what microphones and recording equipment you can buy to set up a great vocal studio or more. When I work with an artist, one of the things we discuss is how to set up your home recording so that it’s at a basic minimum standard, so you can create and work easily and efficiently. But that can be taken a step further and it’s possible to create a vocal recording environment where you could in fact record industry standard quality with the right guidance and set up. Nothing can replace being in the recording studio with a producer that listens and guides you through your vocal performance, tone, placement, attitude, and emotion. But home vocal recording with sufficient pre production, and with video conferencing guidance, can be a close second. After proper editing and an amazing mix, the results can keep your music career moving forward.
If you’ve already recorded your music and you don’t need to go into a recording studio, then you can focus on the release and promotion phase of your music, which will primarily be online. This can be a great time to get the foundation of your branding set up on social media and with a website, so when life goes back to people going out and seeing live music, you’ll be ready to capitalize. When my company takes on marketing and promotion services for one of our artists, I can tell you that much of what needs to be done is creating the online presence for your fans, so that your branding and messaging is consistent. Because the internet is still the main source of discovery for music and fans, this is a great time to be planning and building out that infrastructure for your future.
If your music is already released, then now is the time to be complimenting those releases with posts on social media and additional insight into more aspects of your life that you’d want to share. I like to say that it’s a good idea to have a secondary interest or topic to post about. Some artists have a favorite “cause” like animals, environment, or fitness, and that can be a great way to attract a whole different group of people that your music might not have otherwise been exposed to.
Whatever stage your career is at, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus will run its course like any other virus, and people will return to their lives. You can be using this time effectively to create the foundation of your future and build upon your existing work. As the Beatles’ George Harrison titled one of his solo albums, “All Things Must Pass”.